Back when the internet was little more than a tool for scholars to exchange information, we couldn’t imagine that it would one day become such an important part of our lives. Slowly, it became the preferred way to read the news and keep in touch for an ever-growing community, later growing into a platform used by billions day after day.
One of the biggest steps in the internet’s evolution was the invention of video streaming. The first video to be streamed online could only do 2 frames per second (in 1991) but later we’ve seen the bandwidth grow and new formats emerge, including RealPlayer, DivX, and Flash video that ultimately led to the emergence of YouTube. And this was the point it truly started changing our lives.
Today, streaming has become an integral part of our online experience. Just think of the many ways in which it has changed the way we consume content of all kinds…
Streaming and gaming are intertwined in several ways.
On one hand, we have live casino games that combine the accessibility of a “traditional” online casino with the personal touch of actually visiting one. Live casino games bring the experience of a real-life gambling resort right to the player’s computer or smartphone – the live feed is often streamed from an actual casino floor – making it an experience as close to the real thing as possible.
On the other hand, we have the many live gaming streams we can follow on Twitch and YouTube Gaming today. Here, players stream their screen content while playing games – either single-player sessions or eSports competitions – while millions of people follow them from their homes.
Last but not least, there’s the cloud gaming service that offers an accessible alternative to buying an expensive gaming PC. Services like GeForce Now or Stadia run the games themselves on their own, cloud-based servers and stream the game output to the screen of the player. This way, even a relatively low-end PC can “run” a high-end game with little to no effort.
Streaming has fundamentally changed the way we consume video content.
The movie and series market that was once dominated by broadcast TV channels has now become a playground for streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+. Their content no longer comes with air time, it’s not interrupted by advertising breaks and offers viewers a chance to see and enjoy their favorite movies and TV shows whenever they want, wherever they are.
Cinemas are also starting to feel the pressure from streaming services. Several movies have had their premieres on streaming video services last year, skipping cinemas altogether, allowing viewers to enjoy them from the comfort of their homes.
Last year, large-scale events like concerts and festivals were out of the question. Or better said, live-scale events with in-person audiences – because streaming has made it possible for people to still attend remotely.
Last year, k-pop band BTS held a series of online concerts that attracted hundreds of thousands of paying attendees. Tomorrowland, the biggest EDM event of each year was held in a virtual location, attracting millions of viewers from all over the world. Electronic music legend Jean-Michel Jarre held several virtual concerts where he played on a virtual stage using motion-capture technology, concerts that were streamed on YouTube, Facebook, and virtual reality to tens of millions of viewers around the world. And the most ambitious live concert was the one held by Beatport on New Year’s Eve, involving DJs from a dozen locations from all over the world. All these made possible by live streaming.
Last year, video streaming has become a massive phenomenon thanks in part to the public health situation – but also thanks to its convenience and accessibility. It is a technology that has truly changed our lives for the better.